California Patient Dumped at UMC Remains a Mystery - 8 News NOW

California Patient Dumped at UMC Remains a Mystery

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LAS VEGAS -- Staff at University Medical Center is trying to figure out why a California psychiatric patient was left on the hospital's door step and being looked at as a possible case of patient dumping.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding how a California patient walked through the doors of UMC's ER on Saturday.

UMC's Chief of Staff said a woman told doctors she'd been driven there by a case worker and had instructions that she would receive treatment and a place to stay.

Emergency doctors said she also had documents showing that she had been discharged the day before from the Napa State Psychiatric Hospital near San Francisco.

Brian Selig is the head of Emergency Services at UMC and said the hospital has a hard time taking care of all the psychiatric patients currently filling their beds.

"They come here for their care, because they just don't have anywhere else to go," Selig said. "On any given day we have between 7 and 25 patients with a psychiatric diagnose that are waiting to see a psychiatric specialist at a psychiatric hospital. They're not emergency department patients but they need to be treated."

Hospital staff added at this point, they can't figure out any connection the woman has to Las Vegas or why she would have been dropped off. The case shines attention to Nevada's mental health crisis.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said the allegations are troubling but not all that surprising because it's happened before.

"To ship or to transport patients that need psychiatric care to another state to receive treatment, it's just not acceptable," Sisolak said. "Yet now maybe we understand a little better how California has felt when we've sent so many patients to there, it's not an appropriate way for Nevada to do it, it's not an appropriate way for California to do it."

The Rawson Neal Psychiatric Hospital is in danger of losing its federal accreditation. Federal investigators found specific cases where patients were sent away to California with little to no help.

Clark County leaders said more money is needed from the state to deal with the mental health crisis in Nevada.

UMC Hospital staff couldn't confirm on what the woman is suffering from or her identity.

8NewsNow contacted the Napa State Psychiatric Hospital, but they have not returned our call.

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